Book Reviews

Review by Barclay Braden, PhD 

Author of Faith at Hand: Finding My Way to Depth Journaling

Barclay Braden, PhD
Barclay Braden, PhD

I was utterly immersed! From the enthralling cover photo of an alligator pairing, then by the intrigue of the suggestive font choice, I was immediately lured into an absorbing world of wild adventure, alligator awe, and creature inspiration. Through a unique blend of stunning photography, stirring poetry, related news items, and captivating commentary, Diana Kanoy has woven together a fascinating array. Most riveting, she offers the reader a breathtaking inside glimpse of her own encounters with these fearsome predators, first as a champion water skier, then as a lakeside dweller, over many decades in the charm of rural Florida.

“I was immediately lured into an absorbing world of wild adventure, alligator awe, and creature inspiration.”

-Barclay Braden, PhD

Her poetry transcends ordinary genres with results that range from tantalizing to terrifying, whimsical to cautionary, exhilarating to existential. Dr. Kanoy’s intellect, sensibility and rich background — as a professor of speech, teacher of Sufi dances, and ardent explorer of her state’s abundant springs and waterways — all shine forth. With many worthy contenders in such a profuse offering of poetry, my personal favorite is a clever rewrite of William Blake’s “Tyger! Tyger!” which the author has revisioned as Gator, Gator, burning bright. She achieves brilliant parallels, by intensifying all of the significant questions of the Creator with a simple switch of species. I found this version, with alligator as antagonist, even more thought-provoking than the original.

“Quality” is the right word to describe the compelling elements of this captivating collection. Throughout, the author’s spiritual awareness, in the context of environmental respect and appreciation, combines effectively with anecdotal excitement…plus pure enjoyment. I found myself grateful to be able to wade deeply, yet safely, into the primordial power of such raw nature.

Treat yourself to an experience of immense wonder and dazzling detail. Whether you return to dip your toe again and again or take the in-depth plunge, your coffee table will be blessed by the presence of this beautiful book.

To learn more about the spiritual and psychological inquiry method of Depth Journaling, visit

Review by Elie Wolf, DPM

Wildlife conservationist, photographer and author of And They All Have Souls

I want to share with you something I’m celebrating – my friend Diana Kanoy publishing her book She Swims with Alligators. In it you will find poetry and tales of all sorts relating to one of my most beloved and totem animals. Her literary skills are clear throughout, and she features many talented photographers, and I am blessed to be among them.

I certainly invite you to enjoy one of the most unique books you’ll ever encounter, regarding an animal dear to my own spirit. While Diana’s relationship to gators differs from my own in some instances, her perspective is one that I think is important to learn for our own good, and for the longevity of this magnificent reptile

During her publication journey, Diana certainly became a cherished friend.  I encourage you to pick up a copy and enjoy! 

For a taste of of Elie Wolf’s fabulous photography, visit her website:

See also the photography of contributor Jerrine McClelland at